The indigenously upgraded artillery gun Dhanush has successfully completed final user trials and is ready for induction into the Army. Dhanush is an upgraded version of the Swedish Bofors gun procured by India in the mid-1980s. This was the third and final phase of user exploitation firings in which six Dhanush guns were fired in battery formation at the Pokhran field firing range.
Additional Director General (Operations and Coastal Security) of Coast Guard V Sri Ramachandra Murthy said that Indian Coast Guard fleet has steadily grown over the years and now stood at fourth largest CG in the world. Now, it has plans to achieve the fleet strength of 200 ships and 100 aircraft by the year 2023. Nearly, 60 surface platforms and 15 work boats are under construction at various Indian Shipyards. Presently, the CG has 136 ships, 62 aircraft and over 13,000 personal.
AS PART of preparations for the 2+2 dialogue between the foreign and defence ministers of India and the US in Washington next month, a team of specialists from the Pentagon will be meeting their counterparts on the Indian side in Delhi to negotiate the text of a “foundational” military communications agreement. The US team, which will include lawyers, and policy and technical experts, is scheduled to meet the Indian experts. They said that the US officials will try and address Indian observations on the draft Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) submitted earlier.
India is planning to gift a Dornier aircraft to Seychelles and explore trilateral cooperation involving France that will safeguard its strategic interests in the backdrop of President Danny Faure’s announcement to cancel the project to jointly develop a naval base on Assumption Island ahead of his June 25 Delhi visit. India plans to gift Seychelles a Dornier aircraft this month second such aircraft that could be gifted to the Indian Ocean Region, said people aware of the matter.
Army marches on its stomach, but needs an uninterrupted supply of small arms and ammunition to fight. Besides the army, seven paramilitary organisations, and innumerable state police forces, as also military special forces and in the states, have to be equipped. Some two million pieces, ranging from 5.56mm to 12mm, and hundreds of thousands of tons of matching ammunition, are required every year by all armed forces in India. The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) seems incapable of meeting this demand or satisfying its customers in terms of product quality (INSAS 5.56mm rifle) or quantity.
The U.S. State Department approved the sale of equipment including Hellfire and Stinger missiles, supporting a proposed direct commercial sale of six Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters. The total estimated program cost is $930 million. India requested a range of equipment including 14 General Electric engines, four AN/APG-78 fire control radars and other radar equipment, seven of the Apache’s Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor systems and 14 Embedded GPS Inertial Navigation Systems.
At a time when the Russians have offered to sell 40 more Sukhoi-30 combat aircraft to India, it seems that the Air Force is not keen to add more of these heavy weight and expensive to maintain fighter jets in its inventory. The Indian Air Force (IAF) already has more than 220 of these Russian planes in its fleet and has plans of inducting all the 272 planes ordered by it over the years by the end of 2020.
A $9-billion deal to codevelop a next-generation fighter aircraft with Russia fell through after Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) shot it down saying it either had all the technologies such a project would bring to India or was in the process of developing these indigenously. The mega deal, which would have put India next to the US and China besides Russia with a fifth generation fighter aircraft, has been called off with a decision to purchase the jets off the shelf in the future, if the need arises.